Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Marathon man keeps his unbroken run going

A MEMBER of a Chelmsley Wood running club, who has completed every London Marathon since the event started, safely crossed the finish line at Sunday's event.
Dale Lyons, aged 81, tackled the 26.2 mile course on crutches, but still managed his target of getting round in just under eight hours.
The ardent competitor, from Centurion Running Club, is one of just 11 men who have entered and finished every race since the inaugural marathon in 1981.
Dale, who ran this year's event for the national disability charity Sense, has had quite the running career.
Writing last year, he recalled running two London Marathons in a single day, breaking the Guinness World Record for going the distance while tossing pancakes and "flying" round the course dressed as a bustard - a species of bird which was reintroduced to Britain in the mid-noughties.
This year every one of the dwindling band of "ever presents" lined up for their 38th consecutive year and every one of them made it to the Mall.
Sunday's event - the warmest on record - involved more than 40,000 runners. This is more than four-times the number of men and women who pulled on their running shoes for the first ever event, which took place on a rather drizzly March day.
The "ever presents" website said: "The 11 have completed all 38 London Marathons - some times quicker and sometimes slower.
"They are all club runners and all except one have PBs inside three hours, in some cases well inside! They cover the whole spectrum of today's athletics; they come from all walks of life, different locations and assorted occupation. Most are now retired!!"
You can find out more about the Centurion Running Club, which meets Tuesdays and Thursdays at North Solihull Sports Centre, by visiting their homepage.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Village business helps raise thousands for charity

A LOCAL estate agents has raised more than £7,000 for Marie Curie.
Ferndown Estates, based in Station Road, has working alongside the charity's Marston Green Fundraising Group.
The family-run business had drawn together the donation by putting money aside from each property sale and letting last year. The cheque for the four figure sum was presented earlier this month.
Posting on their Facebook page last week, the fundraising group said: "Yet another example of the community’s support for this very worthy cause."
The volunteers set the group up a few years ago and have organised events including quiz nights, tin collections and the Blooming Great Tea Party - an annual fundraiser held in support of the charity, which provides care and support to those living with a terminal illness.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Spitfire flypasts planned for Castle Bromwich

A SPITFIRE will once again be taking to the skies of North Solihull next month.
Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens have confirmed that the famous fighter plane will complete two flypasts during the upcoming 1940s Weekend.
The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight plan to send the aircraft on both the Saturday and Sunday (May 12 and 13), although organisers stress that the event does depend on flying conditions.
The flypasts are currently scheduled to take place around lunchtime and Other Side of Solihull will confirm as soon as a more precise time has been made available.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Council takes steps to keep travellers off Solihull's parks

STEPS have been taken to make it more difficult for travellers to set up camp in Solihull's parks and open spaces, a councillor has said.
Councillor Tony Dicicco, the cabinet member for stronger communities and partnerships, said that he was "very satisfied" with the local authority's efforts to make it harder for caravans to move onto land.
The recent work at 25 sites - including several in the north of the borough - has seen steel fencing, bollards, timber barriers and ditch and mound earthworks created, ahead of the months of the year when councils tend to see an increase in the number of unauthorised encampments. 
Coun Dicicco said the defences, which have been put in place as part of a three year plan, would make access more difficult for travellers, although he argued it was important to stop short of turning sites into "fortresses" which members of the public would be reluctant to visit.
"There's that balance there which we need to try to maintain," he told this month's Full Council meeting.
"But it's of course impossible to make all our open spaces totally incursion proof and we'll never do that. There is always a risk, as we saw at Babbs Mill recently."
Aside from efforts to 'target harden' local sites, the council recently took out a High Court injunction against a group of named individuals to attempt to tackle the problem.
In addition, the local authority has, in recent weeks, promoted a consultation - being run at national level - in which the Government is asking for the public's opinion of the current powers available to remove unauthorised camps.
Coun John Windmill, leader of the Lib Dem group, said: "Central government is only now going out to consultation at a time when we are expecting a new surge of travellers coming into our midst, with the problems that are likely to arise.
"[Does the cabinet member] have any information why it has taken the Government six months after the 'muddy season' started in September/ realise they have a problem?"
Coun Dicicco said he was not able to comment on the policy nationally, but added that he was pleased by the efforts taken locally to ensure Solihull had "a fairly quiet summer" and did not experience the difficulties that it has done in previous years.

Eighty-one-year-old tackles 38th London Marathon

A MEMBER of a Chelmsley Wood running club is tackling today's London Marathon, and hopes to preserve his record of completing every race in the event's illustrious history.
Dale Lyons, aged 81, is one of just 11 "ever presents" - the dwindling band of men who have crossed the finish line at every marathon since the first was held in 1981.
Last year, he completed the course in six hours, 23 minutes and will be pounding the streets of the capital for the 38th time today - although the father-of-two will have to do the route on crutches, as he continues to struggle with sciatica and a number of injuries.
This year he will be raising money for the national disability charity Sense and has set himself the target of finishing the 26.2mile route in under eight hours.
To find out more about the "ever present" runners, visit their website


  • The "ever presents" were first recognised in 1995 - the year of the 15th London Marathon. Even back then there were only 42 runners who had completed every race, with the club reduced to 11 at last year's event.
  • Four years ago, Dale released a book - The Real London Marathon Men - charting the group's endeavours.
  • Dale has notched up a number of achievements over the decades and previously broke the Guinness World Record for fastest marathon tossing a pancake.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Lunch club launched in Marston Green

A LOCAL charity has recently launched a brand-new club for older residents.
Age UK Solihull started the Lunch Club at Marston Green Tavern earlier this year, the latest in a series of weekly meet-ups for the over 60s.
The group meets every Tuesday from 11.45am-3.45pm, with the lunch followed by a range of social activities. The total cost is £8.
It is one of a number of initiatives the charity is running to alleviate loneliness, which continues to be a major challenge for the borough.
At last week's Full Council meeting, Chelmsley Wood councillor James Burn highlighted the sense of isolation felt by many thousands of local people - although he acknowledged that it wasn't just the elderly who felt cut off, with a growing number of younger people also experiencing loneliness.
To register for the event at the Station Road pub call Age UK Solihull on 0121 704 7846.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Chelmsley chippy will reopen for business next week

A DATE has been set for the official reopening of Chelmund's Fish and Chips.
Yesterday the business announced on its Facebook page that it would be welcoming customers from next Thursday (April 26).
The outlet, at Chelmund's Cross, had closed its doors a short while after opening, following the resignation of its chief fryer. 
Acknowledging "teething problems", the team behind the venture said they would not rush to reopen.
Now however, around a month on, the chippy has hired a replacement and confirmed the date for reopening. Doors are scheduled to open at 4pm.
The fast food business is unique in that it invests profits back into the community. Indeed it is thought that it is the first chip shop to operate in this fashion in the whole of the UK.